Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Why do I own this?"-- World Driver Championship

We all have at least one...that one game you don't remember asking for. Maybe you don't even remember receiving it. All that matters is that you don't like it, you don't play it, and you don't even understand why you have it in the first place.

The odd one out in my collection.
Case in point: My copy of World Driver Championship for the Nintendo 64. I see this cartridge in my N64 storage case and ask myself: "Where did this even come from?" Did someone buy this for me as a gift or just leave this in my room to spite me? I like racing games just as much as the next person who says they like racing games but I'm more partial to karts with colorful tracks and crazy power ups...This is just another realistic arcade racer made to cash in on the popularity surrounding similar titles during the late nineties.

There is no way on Earth I asked for this game. I can count the number of time I played it not on one hand but just a few fingers.

I would go into detail and tell you what the game is about but it’s exactly what’s on the tin. You choose a car, you race around a track. Rinse and repeat until you win The “World Driver Championship.” If there’s anything more to it, I don’t know about it.

Now I must be honest and admit that the graphics were actually quite good for a N64 title and the music wasn't that bad either. Too bad controlling your car was like trying to drive across an oil slick blindfolded with a steering wheel made by Fisher Price.

Don't believe me? Check out this video.

They aren't hamming up it for laughs. The controls are really that unstable.

So why do I still have it if it's obviously doing nothing but taking up space? I can't willingly put this game back into circulation by trying to sell it, no one in their right mind should accept it as a gift and it feels to wasteful to just throw it away. I'm just taking one for the team, I suppose. Saving lives, one frustrating game at a time.

Is there game in your collection that makes you go "Why do I own this?"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fashionable Side--Favorite Accessories

So I’ve given you a taste of my favorite clothes, but I must admit that I feel naked without my accessories. A girl with no accessories is like a cake with no frosting: good, but painfully missing the added charm of roses made of buttercream...And bonus: No matter how many times you wear a certain piece, you can always throw on a different pair of earrings or necklace to give it a brand new feel. 

Here are just a few of my favorite finishing touches. 


The perfect example of an “outfit making piece”, a simple string of these white beads can easily add class to even the most simple combo. Throw on a bracelet with a t-shirt and jeans. Layer a necklace under a collared shirt. It’s the fastest way to look like you’ve spent a good chunk of time designing a look, even when you just rolled out of bed after your last alarm.


There is something so enchanting about the classic look of a cameo piece. The subtle contrast of color and depth; the grace and poise of a silhouette frozen in time...Please, excuse my poetics but this style has inspired a small obsession of mine...

Fashion Scarves and Neckties
...while these are a very large obsession of mine, at least as far as my collection of scarves is concerned (18 in total!). I just love neckwear and sometimes a simple piece of jewelry is not enough. Scarves are a relatively cheap and easy way to add a bit of flare to your everyday wardrobe, like a more casual alternative to pearls. Yes, they're infinitely cozy when made of wool, but why limit scarves to the coldest days of the fall and winter seasons? 

And why should ties be a "men’s only" accessory? If you don’t know let me be the first to tell you: women look great in men’s wear. It doesn’t even have to be a grand affair; a button up and jeans would do nicely. I only have "good" two ties at the moment because it’s worth it to be a bit more picky when shopping for them. You can always find a decent one for cheap, just make sure that you don’t overlook the level of quality when tempted by a good deal. 

(PRO TIP: If you’re gonna wear a tie, you might as well go all the way. Look up the instructions for some of the more complicated knots, like the Windsor. Believe me, there’s no better feeling than a man doing a double take because you can tie a knot better than he can.)

Do you share some of my obsessions? What are some of your favorite accessories?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Etsy Wish List #6

In my humble opinion, it's the accessories--not the clothes--that make the woman. What better way to dress up your favorite outfit than to add one of these video game themed pieces?

I must admit that my experience with classic the games of the 8 and 16 bit eras is pretty limited. That doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the simplistic beauty of these wood earrings. Something small this takes an amazing attention to detail. 

I don't think there's anyone alive who hasn't played at least one game of Tetris. It's terribly addictive in the most frustrating way and the game's basic strategies even can be applied to real life. Have you ever over packed a suitcase or car, so much so that there was absolutely no extra space left? You just might have Tetris to thank for that skill.

These particular earrings are also available in green "Z", yellow "O", and blue "L" block shapes, so you can pick your favorite color or game piece. Or you could just get them all if you consider yourself a super-fan and want one for every occasion. I won't judge.

You ask yourself: "Video games and cameo jewelry?" I can feel your uncertainty. It's unexpected. It's quirky. And it works. The best accessory is one that make someone do a double take and this necklace demands one. If only the picture was in black and white or maybe even a sepia tone...that would really make this necklace perfect.

So any of these pieces of jewelry catch your eye?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nintendo is Afraid of Dynamic Female Characters--Part One feat. Samus Aran

How many times have I started a rant with “I love Nintendo, but...”? My loyalty for the company runs deep; my annoyance at their treatment of female characters runs deeper. While others are slowly realizing that girls in video games are worth more than their breast size or ability to be kidnapped, Nintendo’s leading ladies are still singing that one, tired old song. 

Since I can go on forever with a topic like this, I’m going to split tangent this up into parts...starting with the more unexpected subject: the shortcomings of Samus Aran.

I know what you might be thinking: “What? Samus is so BA with her power suit and arm cannon...” And yes, no one can deny that the famous alien hunter has had some amazing adventures throughout her series. But we cannot overlook the fact that Samus’s gender was originally an afterthought. 

The most famous identity crisis in history.

Now I wasn’t even alive when the fateful meeting took place, but I’ve always imagined that it happened a little something like...

Nintendo main offices, late afternoon. Several Metroid team members are sitting around a conference table. There's a lull in the conversation. 
TEAM MEMBER #2: “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if there was a chick under the suit? 
(Awkward silence) 
TEAM LEADER: “Put her in a bathing suit at the end of the game and it just might work.”

Of course, this small change broke down a huge wall in the video game industry, showcasing the untapped potential in female protagonists. I’m not trying to belittle its influence. However, throwing in a short scene of a blond in a bikini and carefully crafting a multidimensional female lead character are two different totally things.

And since Samus’s first appearance, Nintendo has done nothing but prove that they have absolutely no clue what to do with her. 

She could be so much more than a chick in a suit.
In most games, Samus is a silent killing machine who leaves nothing but destruction and dead Metroid husks in her wake. A lone wolf with just enough background and characterization to justify her actions. Since she spends the majority of each game encased in metal, it sometimes seems like Nintendo is trying to hide her femininity behind her shiny armor. But the status quo set in the original title is always maintained: play well enough and you’ll get to see what she’s got under that suit. At it’s core, Samus’s femininity is a reward, not a defining character trait. Her body is nothing more than an object used to extend gameplay.

Whenever Samus is playable sans suit, her outstanding physical prowess is completely overshadowed by her outfit. The Zero Suit--though more practical than a bikini/leotard--leaves nothing to the imagination. And don’t even get me started on that whip...

It’s as if Nintendo isn’t sure whether to push Samus’s gender under the rug or beat players over the head with it. 
Yep. Definitely a woman.
And then there's Other M. This title isn't just a weak installment gameplay wise, it completely undermines what little character development the bounty hunter has. She has all of the most powerful weapons available from the jump, but she can only use them when someone tells her to. She’s already triumphed over Ridley at this point, but she is paralyzed by childhood flashbacks when she sees him again. She’s seen developing relationships with several other characters for once in her life, but she plays supporting role to all of them, forcing them to save her when she should be saving them.

Here, the lone wolf is put on a very short leash.

"Permission to think, sir?"
It’s clear that with Other M, the developers were trying to present a version of Samus that’s more “human”, more relatable. What better way than to put a few chips in her seemingly invincible facade? Even the most powerful have to fail sometimes... he team just spent so much time trying to prove that she could be vulnerable, they overlooked the need to equally develop her strengths. This would have been the perfect time for Samus to overcome debilitating fear through the power of her resolve, to maintain her independence when dealing with the authority figures of her past. Instead, she is simply presented as a stubborn, immature cadet who never quite grew up. Once unstoppable, Other M Samus only seems to take the role of hero when given a little push.

If that is all that Samus is going to be, she just keep quiet and stay in the suit. 


The numerous flaws in Nintendo’s favorite princesses Peach and Zelda seem a bit more obvious. They’re just stereotypical damsel-in-distress right? Well, next time I’ll explore how these two characters fall into the same patterns as the lonely Metroid hunter (with Zelda being the more tortured of the two).

For more on Nintendo and women:
"For Girls Only"--Nintendo Invites Females to the World of Video Games
"Play As You Are"--Nintendo and the Female Audience Part 2

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fashionable Side--Top Three Go-To Pieces

I realize that even though this blog is called The Fashionable Gamer, I haven't done much to prove that I am indeed "fashionable" in real life. Let's put it all on the table: I don't think that I am particularly gifted in all things sartorial...I just try to walk out of the house looking like I own a mirror. Creating a fashion blog with "Outfit of the Day" posts or runway commentaries was never my intention, but I feel as if a closer look into the other half of my chosen gimmick is definitely overdue.

So let's put down the controllers and take a peek at my top three go-to pieces (as proven by the multiple pictures of me wearing them). These are the choices that are most likely already in the dirty clothes hamper when I think about them.

The Sweater Dress

I have a few similar dresses in my closet. One is a bit too long and baggy and the other is pretty short so this one is definitely the best of the lot. It's thick enough to be warm, thin enough to be breathable...and any excuse to wear tights and boots is good enough for me.

Because of the simple design I never felt too overdressed when wearing it to class, but when surrounded by sweatpants and pyjamas, people always seemed to ask "What's the occasion?".

The Studded Tee

In my mind, I refer to this as my "Lady Gaga shirt". The comparison is weak and pretty much only based on the shirt's unexpected shoulder pads...It makes much more sense in my head...

Now I must admit that I almost passed on this one because of the extra padding. Thankfully, I came to accept that shoulder pads don't always make you look like an out-of-date wannabe linebacker. I gravitate toward this shirt because I feel as if it works well dressed up or dressed down. For me, it's the ideal choice when I don't know what to wear and don't feel like tearing up my room to figure it out.

The Blue Ruffle Tank

Finally, some color. Didn't I mention that I mostly wear black, white and beige? Well, sometimes I deviate from the norm and this hand-me-down is one of my standbys. No, I didn't even buy this shirt. I like to think that if I spotted this cute top with its comfy fabric and ruffle detail I would have been tempted...to see if it came in black, white or beige.

I've been trying to wear more colors but those three shades just feel like home.

Of course, these aren't the only clothes in my closet (I really wouldn't consider these my all time favorites) but the photographic evidence does not lie. Hopefully all this doesn't make you want to try and force me to change my blog's name.

So do you have any pieces or outfits you can't stop wearing?

Oh and did you know you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin? I would love you for it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Virtual to Reality--Pokemon X and Y and Its Brand New Style

Pokemon Series--SerenaEven though I've already established that I am not a fan of the Pokemon video game series, I have to admit that I've been swept up into the X and Y fever. From the (long overdue) avatar customization options to the addition of Mega Evolutions (Mega Charizard FOR THE WIN), I felt like I was being pulled further and further into the Poke-frenzy with each new announcement.

It was like middle school all over again, only this time, there was no teacher was around to tell me that I couldn't play with my Pokemon cards in school...

I don't have my hands on a copy just yet (X is calling my name), but why not appreciate this generation's fashion sense during the wait? The newest lead "Serena" is the most stylish young trainer hands down and I think this more fashion forward proves that the standard Pokemon formula can evolve to keep up with the times.

Pun completely and totally intended. Sorry. (Not sorry.)

What do you think about Pokemon X and Y? Are you into the hype or do you think that the long-running series is past its prime?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Adventures in Video Game Retail Land--Reserve Remorse

It feels like the question of the day is "What are you going to pre-order: Xbox One or PS4?". Now while I'm not looking forward to either console to tell the truth, I really can't answer that inquiry since I don’t usually reserve a copy of anything. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the only thing that I pre-ordered in recent memory was Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)...and that was only because I just happened to have enough money on hand to pay in full and the employee at GameStop just happened to ask me if I wanted to (as they always do). 

Maybe it’s because I’m not into any of the big name call-in-sick-for-work-to-make-it-to-the-midnight-launch titles that would justify being afraid of a sell-out situation...or the fact that I never really have to have any game right when it comes out, but I don’t ever feel like I need to put up a few dollars to get a copy with my name on it. 

Case in point: Even though I was extremely excited for the newest Animal Crossing, I only bought it on launch day because I just happened to have the money to pay for it, just happened to be in the mall, and just happened to remember what day it was a few minutes before closing time. Beating the clock, I strolled into GameStop, grabbed an empty New Leaf case off the shelf and took it to the register. Instead of just ringing me up as usual, the employee asked me a deceivingly simple question:

“Uhh...Did you pre-order this?”

Now that's something I don’t hear very often...or at all. I'm used to finding what I want waiting patiently for me on the shelf, no questions asked. Imagine my disappointment when the worker informed me that since I didn’t pre-order the game, I was pretty much out of luck...not because they ran out of stock, but because they only had their reserve copies to begin with. And every GameStop in the area (because it’s one of those places that has dozens right next to each other for no apparent reason) was going through the same problem: customers coming in to buy New Leaf the day of and walking out with absolutely nothing since they didn't have any available. 

Is not having stock on the floor some kind of weird way to push pre-order sales? 

The employee was really polite about the situation (he had been dealing with it all day) and offered the option of waiting for the next shipment later in the week, but I took my money to Target instead. No pre-orders, no excuses, just grab the game and go. Though I can’t stand getting anything from locked-down electronics departments, I actually saved a few dollars by buying it there. I consider that a win. 

When did shopping at GameStop turn into an exclusive club for those who think ahead? It was like I suddenly wasn't cool enough for a cute game with cuddly looking animals...

While it felt terrible to find myself missing from the store's Animal Crossing guest list, I'm not going to be changing my shopping habits any time soon. I'll get my games on when I want them, reserved or not. So much for GameStop’s devious plan...

Have you ever tried to get a game and found yourself shut out because you didn’t reserve a copy? And where do you usually buy your games? Specialty stores like GameStop or one-stop retailers like Target?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Welcome to Addiction--Animal Crossing: New Leaf Impressions

Look, if you’re reading this to decide whether or not to get the newest installment of Animal Crossing, stop wasting time. Seriously, don’t read this...just get the game. It’s fantastic.

(Random Note: These pictures were taken with my 3DS camera at different times during the week and my avatar is darker in some shots because she got a tan.)

I won't call this a "review" since I've only been playing for a little over a week...not nearly long enough to give this game justice. You can't rush through the Animal Crossing experience. This game takes time. 
The old mayor passes wisdom to the new generation.
As soon as I saw the trailers for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, I knew I had to have it. I can't call myself a huge fan of the series...At the time, my experience was limited to AC: City Folk on the Wii and even though I enjoyed it, I must admit that it didn’t hold my attention for very long. 

And the city was boring. The main attraction of the title felt absolutely pointless.

But when it was revealed that your character could be mayor of your town and not just a really out of place human villager, I really couldn’t throw my money at Nintendo fast enough. When launch day rolled around, my wallet was ready.

I feel like everyone's attention has been focused on the new mayor mechanic. So, what’s it like being in charge of it all? Unlike the somewhat empty city featured in the previous game, your position in the local government doesn’t come off as hollow and unimportant. With the help of your adorable secretary Isabelle, you can transform your new home to fit your vision. Sit in your fancy office chair in the Town Hall and you can pass laws or “ordinances” that can affect the appearance of your town and the business hours that it maintains. Citizens will occasionally request “public works projects” that allow you build new landmarks. If you're tired of running all the way to the other side of town to get across the river, you can build a new bridge. If you want to get rid of weeds, just outlaw them and make your neighbors keep the place clean. While you don’t really “run” the city, you can make decisions that can really help support whatever delusions of grandeur you might want to hold onto. 

By "help" she means "do all the heavy lifting and paperwork".
You just point her in the right direction. 
Let me stress that these feelings of power you may have are “delusions”. You can only have one ordinance active at a time. If you want to have less weeds AND earn more money from selling goods (like me), you’re out of luck. Love public works projects? Isabelle quickly tells you the town only has the resources to work on one project at a time and you’ll find out that the bigger options are locked until your neighbors request them (which is a necessary evil for players like me who would run through all the options in days if given the chance). And if we're going to be completely honest here, the faithful Isabelle should really be the one in power...You just sit in the big chair while she’s the one doing all the work. 

I can't be mad she's sleeping on the job because she still works harder than me.
I came into work after 12. 
Of course, the other pieces of this game are even more charming than before. The villagers are slightly smarter in this game and you actually get the sense that they have lives (or something like that). Yes, they still wander around aimlessly most of the time...but they will actually use the tools they wander around with. Occasionally, they will plant and water flowers, go fishing, shake trees...I watched my neighbor Lobo stalk a grasshopper, bug catching net ready to go. He eventually moved on without a single swing, but the intent was there. A- for effort. 

Jay doesn't understand the connection
between fishing and the presence of fish.
Chatting with Lionel, I learned that Bob and Peggy got into a terrible argument and while I never learned what it was about, I found Katt trying to convince Peggy to apologize a few minutes later. Details like that make the animals in your village almost feel like real individuals...when they aren’t stuck walking into each other in an almost endless loop (once on their wandering path, they won’t change course for anything).

No wonder Bob got mad. 
The customization aspect of this game is deeper as well. You can decorate the inside of your house with furniture on the floor and the walls, but why stop there? Tom Nook’s new store allows you change the exterior of your home with mailboxes, pavement and siding. And if you play for a while, you unlock the ability to refinish and reupholster furniture to match your taste. (But keep in mind the original pattern on the piece. It will probably stay the same, even with the change.) After these last few days, I feel like I have only nicked the surface with what you can do in terms of interior design...

...But I feel as if that also has to do with the fact that you only get so many furniture options a day than actual depth. Anyone familiar to the series will understand the luck based interior design system; it's not a new concept. I can't help but think that I've been getting the short end of the stick in terms of the available selection of my stores. My house is just a storage closet at the moment, but I know that it won't last long.

The couch I customized looks better in Lobo's house than it did in mine.
I considered going into great detail with this post in terms of all the new and returning gameplay elements but I won’t because I think the charm is in discovering them for yourself (and after a week, I haven’t unlocked all of them myself). Besides, everyone is talking about this game. Avoiding spoilers is harder than finding them. But if you haven’t looked up information on this game, don’t. Just buy it. I couldn’t recommend this game hard enough even if I wrote this whole thing with caps lock on. I am completely addicted. There should be a support group for people with this problem (so we can all play together, of course).

Are you a fan of the Animal Crossing series? What do you think about New Leaf?

I Can't Write My Real Next Post Until I Publish This One

Time to dust off this poor, neglected blog and give it some love. 

It’s been months since my last post. Didn’t I say that I would work harder at the whole writing-on-a-regular-basis thing? Oh yeah, that was before college decided to slap me in the face and teach me a lesson on time management...

After I hit the last period on my last entry, I was promptly overwhelmed by everything that I had to do to make to graduation. Poem, papers, projects. A stressful sundae topped with student organization responsibilities and graduate school shaped cherries. There was so much that needed my immediate attention that I had to push some things to the side. Like this blog. And video games in general. I was even approached to write for an new online magazine and I had drop my volunteer position not too long after I accepted it because I just didn’t have the time. 

(PRO TIP FOR ENGLISH MAJORS: Anyone will tell you that putting off required science classes is a bad idea, but taking all of the necessary classes your final semester is the worst idea ever conceived (Human Bio and Geography go together like a hammer to a skull). Do everything in your power to make sure that you never have to resort to such insane measures.))

BUT I MADE IT. I got through the toughest semester of my academic career, earned a shiny piece of paper that proves how smart I am (or can pretend to be) and I am now drowning in free time like I found the ocean at the end of a desert. So I will be finishing up the forgotten posts languishing on my dashboard and putting my heart and soul into some new ones. 

If you're still here, thank you. I will really try harder this time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Third Times the Charm: Liebster Award Part Three

Full disclosure: It's been forever since I received my third award nomination. This post should have gone up ages ago.

Here is my first Liebster post and here is my second, for anyone interested.

This time, my thanks goes to Nikki over at Chibi-Chic. You are a sweetheart, my friend.

Once again, I just focus on the questions this time around.

Nikki's Questions for her nominees:
1) What made you decide to start a blog?
Umm...I needed to start writing for someone other than my poetry/creative writing workshop groups.
2) Who would you consider your celebrity idol and why?
I don't think that I have any idols, but I do have "girl crushes"...Like the one I have on Emma Stone, who was named best dressed in Hollywood a couple months back.
This is what you call class
And the fact that I'm wearing my favorite Audrey Hepburn sweatshirt as I type this must mean something...
It's not like I admire her or anything

3) If you could be any fictional villain, who would you choose?
Maleficent. Sleeping Beauty is my favorite "Disney princess" movie pretty much because of her (I put it in quotes because Pocahontas is technically a princess too, but Disney seems to have forgotten that).
Maleficent: a true, diabolical villain.

4) What is your life's dream?
I want to be happy. Almost everything I do is in pursuit of that goal.
5) Out of the friends you have, was there one which you met through unusual circumstances and how?
Well, there was this girl that lived in the same dorm that I did a couple semesters ago...We met in the bathroom when I went to take a shower. I felt a bit awkward making small talk with a stranger when all I wanted to do was jump in the shower stall, but she was very nice and we got along pretty well. I actually ran into her yesterday and she told me that I was one of the only people in that building that talked to her that semester. I can say the same about her.
6) What is the worst or most bizarre program you have ever seen on television?
Wipeout. Now that show is tame in reality TV standards, but I really just don't get it. I don't find watching people getting hurt funny at all. 
You're laughing right now, aren't you?
7) What song best describes you as a person?
What a question! I don't want to be a loser and not answer but scanning through my music library trying to come up with a response has given me a headache. I concede. Coldplay, Keane and OneRepublic songs tend to speak to me if that gives you any idea. 
8) What is your favourite culture and why?
British culture has been my favorite for a really long time. I grew up watching British television shows and I've always been fascinated by what goes on over there. There are also some people who honestly believe that I am French-Canadian, but that's another story for another time.
9) What has been your most proud moment in life to date?
When one of my pieces (a prose poem about my mother) made it into my college's creative writing publication my sophomore year and I officially became a published writer.
10) What has been the scariest film you have seen. (For whatever reason?)
You probably won't catch me watching any scary movies; I do not like being scared. I have seen a few or the lighter ones like The Ring, Darkness Falls, and the first few Paranormal Activity movies and they didn't really interest me (the Paranormal series is extremely boring in my opinion). But one movie that makes me jump at the same point every time is Wait Until Dark starring Audrey Hepburn (Two mentions in one post? That must mean something...). Check it out and you will know exactly what part I'm talking about.
It was considered one of the 
scariest movies during its time for a reason
11) How much herp could a herp-a-derp herp if a herp-a-derp could herp derp? (I couldn't think of an eleventh, so just surprise me with an insightful answer to this!)
None, because ice cream doesn't have any bones.

Once again, I'd like to thank you for reading my nonsense. There are so many other things you could do with your time, so I appreciate you sharing a little bit of it with me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wish List--I Love Video Games Necklace

I am always looking for ways to let people know about my passion for video games. You know, other then awkwardly shoving the fact into random conversations with random strangers...The main problem is that many gamer-centric products scream "I play video games and this is my favorite character/title!" with huge logos, bright colors or obnoxious pictures. And sometimes you just want to show your love without wearing a t-shirt that people could assume you borrowed from your younger brother.

That is where this necklace comes in. Simple and understated, this accessory tells people that you're a gamer without shoving your favorite franchise in their faces. Best of all, it's undeniably feminine! This piece isn't a "want", this is a "need".

Find it on Etsy.

Do you love this necklace as much as I do?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Welcome to the New Year. Better Late Than Never...

Time is a fickle mistress. 
I have been a terrible blogger. It has been ages since the last time I posted anything and 2012 pretty much ended without me. Let me start of by saying that I hope you had a pleasant holiday season and that 2013 started off with not just a bang, but an epic explosion of awesome. You deserve it.

Of course with every new year comes New Year's Resolutions and the blinding obsession with self-improvement that always seems to fade away by the time January 31 rolls around. If you couldn't tell by that last sentence, I'll just come right out and say that I'm not a big fan of the tradition. However, I am determined to write more this year and that includes working harder on this blog. I didn't get the chance start right when the ball dropped, but I will try to keep this motivation burning as long as I possibly can.

How has 2013 been treating you? Did you make any fantastic (or extremely reasonable) resolutions?
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